Title: Into the Woods
Publisher: Aye Saw Comics
Published: Out Now
RRP: £5.00 available from http://ayesawcomics.bigcartel.com/
In this short story anthology Red Riding Hood discovers a family secret; a giant ponders his place in the world; a boy opens a mysterious box with terrible consequences; two car thieves get more than they bargained for; a peddler leaves a mysterious package; during WW2 the Jews have an unlikely protector; a woman fears something terrible has happened to her child; a girl in seventies England has a school dance she will never forget and a child is rewarded for helping a pixie.
Stacy Whittle will be a familiar name to anyone with an interest in small press comics. She co-hosts the Small Press Big Mouth podcast with her broadcast partner Lee Grice. Now she has decided to put her money where her proverbial big mouth is as editor of this collection of fairy tale-based short stories. Her object is to give some exposure to the names involved. From the contents of this comic they deserve to be better known.
Each story is five pages long and it is a testament to the skill of each writer and artist that the limited space is used to tell nine very different stories. It is interesting to see where each writer goes from the original brief. There are urban fantasies, gothic fables and horror stories on show here, as well as traditionally told fairy tales. Each story is well served by great black and white artwork and each artist is well suited to the story being told.
To go into too much detail on each story would be to invite spoilers and I really want you to read this book yourselves. Instead I shall just point out some highlights. The opening story Red Riding Hood, by Rich McAuliffe and Sara Dunkerton, sets the tone for what is to come with a simple, well executed story and artwork that captures the fairy tale atmosphere perfectly. Changeling by Alexi Conman is a heartbreaking tale with amazing artwork by Conor Boyle. How Boyle isn't a better known artist is beyond me, as his art here is beautiful. Amber and the Egg, by Nic Papaconstantinou, Bevis Musson and Fillip Roncone is by far the most traditional fairy tale both in story and artwork. It comes at the end of the book like a big hug and is all the more welcome for it.
Stacy has put together some amazing talent together in a book that is well worth £5 of anyone's money. You get fantastic modern fairy tales and as a bonus you get some up and coming writer and artist names to keep an eye out for in the future. I know I will.